Yesterday, we had our "New Year Party" for the teachers and management staff at my school. We ate at one of our favorite izakayas, Watami. Now, I have already had my fair share of new kinds of foods at this particular izakaya, including grilled pregnant fish (shishamo), deep fat fried chicken cartilage, and cow tongue salad, but yesterday I got to add one more exotic food to the list: fish testicles.
And the conclusion: fish testicles are creamy, fishy, salty, flavorful, and actually pretty tasty. The cow tongue salad is delicious (whatever dressing they use is fabulous) and the cow tongue just taste like beef. The pregnant fish is alright by taste (crispy on the outside and soft where the eggs are), but a bit nerve-raking by sight (see the pictures below) -- they come whole, are about three to four inches long, look slightly bloated, and when you bite into them you can see all the little white eggs inside. And the deep fat fried chicken cartilage is crunchy, chewy, oily, and generally just unappetizing to my Western palate. The pregnant fish and chicken cartilage are a favorite among the Japanese staff, so I usually just let them eat my share. :)
So what did I eat last night? Sashimi, three different kinds of salads, nabe, pizza, yakitori, and fish testicles. All in all, it made for a most delicious kick off to the New Year in Japan. :)
Staff favorite: shishamo -- grilled pregnant fish